The X-Men movie timeline is pretty hard to follow for the casual movie-goer. And with X-Men: Dark Phoenix out this week, do you really have to watch all of them for the right context? Thankfully no, since it’s part of a sub-series within the multiple-timeline franchise. Really there are only three X-Men movies you need to see out of the other nine that preceded Dark Phoenix’s release.
The first thing to say is that X-Men: Dark Phoenix is the fourth and final outing in the X-Men prequel film series.
These are three to watch beforehand and are separate to the original X-Men trilogy released and set in the noughties and the Wolverine solo trilogy.
Dark Phoenix is preceded by X-Men: First Class (set in 1962), X-Men: Days of Future Past (the time travel one set partly in 2023, but mainly in 1973) and X-Men: Apocalypse (set in 1983).
While Dark Phoenix itself is set in 1992, concluding this quadrilogy of X-Men prequel movies.
It’s worth pointing out that the X-Men movie timeline was altered by Wolverine in Days of Future Past, meaning that Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix take place in an alternate timeline.
Fans will remember Days of Future Past ended with Wolverine waking up in a new 2023 where a number of X-Men who died in the original noughties trilogy are alive.
This is the same new timeline that Dark Phoenix is leading up to.
While Logan – the final film in Wolverine solo trilogy – which was released between Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix, is set after this new 2023 at Days of Future Past’s conclusion, in the altered timeline’s 2029 – so no, you don’t need to watch Logan.
Speaking with Screen Rant, he said: “I have some sense of it, yes, because I always feel as though I’m sort of responsible for the architecture of this and making sure that it all lines up.
“So I do have some sense of it, but I really did imagine this movie, in truth, as the culmination of this cycle of X-Men films and so I wasn’t really thinking past this film other than wanting to make sure that the logic was all sound.”
“I actually would say that the Dark Phoenix idea was set up in the end of Days of Future Past.”
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is released in UK cinemas on June 5, 2019.